Apple Store vs. Microsoft Store: Tablet, Smartphone Wars Go Local
The latest Apple Store vs. Microsoft Store battle is about to unfold in The VAR Guy’s back yard — at the Walt Whitman Shops (Long Island, N.Y.). Apple (NASDAQ: APPL) is refurbishing a store in that mall, while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is building a retail location within a few hundred feet of Apple’s presence. Can Microsoft Surface Tablets and Windows Phone 8 steal some mind share and market share amid the iPhone and iPad consumer craze? Hmmm…
The VAR Guy concedes: He chuckled when he first heard about Microsoft’s retail store plans a few years ago. Fast forward to the present and The VAR Guy is taking Microsoft far more seriously. The company finally has a promising consumer device portfolio, with Surface and Windows Phone 8 devices coming to stores soon. Plus, the old reliable XBox and Kinect devices remain consumer staples.
Microsoft is set to open about 11 new retail stores in the next few months. The company already operates 20 retail locations. A Microsoft spokesperson recently told AppleInsider that the 20 locations have generated foot traffic from 13 million customers — though actual sales figures through the retail locations was not disclosed.
Big Apple Numbers
Still, Apple Stores will be tough to catch. Consider these stats, which Apple shared during its 3Q 2012 earnings call on July 24:
- Apple retail store revenue was revenue was $4.1 billion, an increase of 17% over the year-ago quarter.
- Apple opened nine stores in the quarter and now has 372 stores, including 123 outside the United States.
- Each store is generating about $11.1 million in revenue per quarter.
- Apple’s stores had 83 million visitors during the quarter — or 17,000 visitors per store per week.
Obviously, Microsoft Stores won’t match those Apple figures anytime soon. Perhaps Microsoft will never match those figures. But that’s not the point of this blog.
Let’s Talk Channel
For Microsoft’s channel partners it’s important to keep an eye on the company’s retail stores. If new Windows devices catch on with consumers, it could help to define new Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and mobile device management (MDM) trends for months and years to come.
In the meantime, The VAR Guy is waiting patiently for Microsoft to open its local retail store here — and for Apple to complete its own local refurbishing project. Let the retail wars continue…